September 3, 2023
End-of-life kits being sold online to those who ‘need help, not a substance’
The Irish Examiner
End-of-life kits being sold online to those who ‘need help, not a substance’, says campaigner
Tom Curran, who is the Europe co-ordinator for Exit International, said that there are no checks carried out by the sellers of these end-of-life kits on the people who purchase the products on the internet.
Right-to-die campaigner Tom Curran has warned that end-of-life kits being sold on the internet can fall into the hands of children or be bought by people who “need help, not a substance”.
Canadian authorities have contacted gardaí as part of an investigation into the sale of the so-called ‘suicide kits’ to people across the world.
A chef, Kenneth Law, aged 57, had been charged with two counts of aiding suicide in Canada as part of the probe. Yesterday, 12 further charges were brought against him.
Canadian police are warning people to be vigilant of online transactions and deliveries from companies linked to Kenneth Law, called Imtime Cuisine, AmbuCA, Academic/Academic, Escape Mode/ escMode, and ICemac.
Gardaí confirmed that it received information from the Canadian authorities about deliveries to Irish addresses and carried out a number of welfare checks here.
“In a small number of cases, An Garda Síochána has identified that the persons subject of the welfare check were deceased,” a garda spokesman said.
Gardaí are now working on files for coroners in the districts where the deaths occurred. They are not carrying out a criminal investigation as the substance contained in the so-called kit is not prohibited in Ireland.
Mr Curran, who is the Europe co-ordinator for Exit International, said that there are no checks carried out by the sellers of these kits on the people who purchase the products on the internet.
These kits are being sold to anybody who applies for them. It is a commercial operation. The person buying them could be a 12-year-old, they could be anybody.
“In a commercial operation, it doesn’t matter to the person involved who is buying it. Also, if it is somebody planning for the future — because there is no availability in Ireland — are they getting what they are really paying for, what they want?
They could put it away, decide in five years’ time that they want to use it and it is useless. There is no control over the validity of the substance that they are buying.
“There are also so many scammers out there. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of scammers all over the world — in a lot of cases, they take the money but they don’t provide anything.”
While the substance in the kits is legal and is available from other sources, Mr Curran says it could “fall into anybody’s hands” when being offered for sale by unscrupulous sellers.
Mr Curran is to speak at a public meeting in the Ashling Hotel in Dublin on Thursday about the the issues being discussed by the Oireachtas Committee on Assisted Dying.
Mr Curran said: “It could be (purchased) by a person who is not thinking rationally — they need help, not a substance.”
Mr Curran will be one of the speakers at a public meeting in the Ashling Hotel in Dublin on Thursday on the theme of why the Oireachtas must legislate for Assisted Dying in Ireland.
He says that the aim of the event, and four earlier meetings around the country in recent months, is to educate people on the issues being discussed by the Oireachtas Committee on Assisted Dying.
His late wife, Marie Fleming, was at the forefront of the assisted dying debate in Ireland, during a legal case taken by her over a decade ago.